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Eliptical vs. Treadmill

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Old 08-05-2008, 01:55 AM   #1
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Default Eliptical vs. Treadmill

I was wondering if some of you can give me some advice. I usually walk/jog on the treadmill. Recently I've found that the Eliptical burns more calories for a shorter about of time, the eliptical I'm using doesn't have any movement on the arms. The only thing that I don't like about he eliptical is that my feet get numb after a little while. On the treadmill I have to wear my knee brace b/c it starts hurting after about a mile jog in which then I have to start power walking. I want to get the best out of my workouts. I kind of prefer the treadmill but I know the eliptical burns more calories.

Can anyone tell me if the machines are pretty much accurate at calculating the amount of calories burned?
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:15 AM   #2
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I have heard some people mention that the calories-burned amounts on the machines might not be accurate, but I really don't know about it. I'm interested in reading what others have to say.

I also am not a fan of the numbed-feet/toes elliptical effect.

Also.. if the elliptical is easier on knees (I'm not sure if it is, but if it is) then perhaps it would be worth it so that you can prevent further knee pain? Just a thought
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:26 AM   #3
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Also.. if the elliptical is easier on knees (I'm not sure if it is, but if it is) then perhaps it would be worth it so that you can prevent further knee pain? Just a thought
Yeah, that's why I have been on the eliptical lately which is how I discovered this issue of the calorie count.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:31 AM   #4
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The elliptical doesn't burn more calories than the treadmill. It's not about the machine. It's about how high you can get your heartrate, and how long you can hold it there. The elliptical might allow you to get your heartrate higher faster, or hold it there for longer, but you can achieve the same effects on *any* cardio machine if you work hard enough.

That said, the "numb feet" issue is going to be mostly because on the elliptical it's easy to wind up "walking" on your toes. It's the nature of the machine. You need to remember to walk from your heel, just as you would on the treadmill ... or you'll get the numb toes thing. I do, even now. One way to help prevent it is when you feel it coming on, curl your toes. It's impossible to walk on your toes when they're curled - and then you wind up driving your heel down first, which eliminates the tingly foot thing.

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Old 08-05-2008, 02:37 AM   #5
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Wow! Thanks Photochick. I will have to try to use my heels next time. It certainly will be difficult I think
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:15 AM   #6
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Since I am pretty short I can get a more vigorous work out on an elliptical than on a treadmill. I also can keep my heart rate up higher longer on an elliptical. I just have short stubby legs so it is much more comfortable on my body.. with a treamill I always have to hold on and force myself to take longer harder strides when I go fast..
One of my friend's personal trainers said that you should buy a (cant remember the exact name but the one that goes on the chest)thing that reads your heart rate and how many calories you burn as the machine can sometime pick up on the ones around it?? I dont know if that is true or not as I burn around the same amount if there are people around me or not.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:32 PM   #7
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The calorie counters are the machines are wildly inaccurate. See the sticky "Are The Calorie Counters On Cardio Machines Accurate?."

It's all about your heart rate--if you get your heart rate up to the same level on both machines and maintain that rate for the same length of time, you're burning the same calories on both. Jonsgurl0531 is referring to a polar heart rate monitor with a chest strap, but you don't really need that to monitor your heart rate. You can actually do it quite effectively using the perceived exertion scale. If it feels like you are getting to the same level on this scale on both machines and maintaining that for the same length of time, then you're burning about the same number of calories on both. If one machine feels significantly easier to you than the other, you're burning fewer calories on the easier machine.

I love the TM, but running is very hard on your whole body. The elliptical is a good alternative because it gives all your joints and your back a break. Spinning is another great alternative.

Photochick is right that the problem with numbness in your toes on the elliptical is often a posture problem. You want your feet to flat on the foot platforms, not up on your toes. You also want to be standing up straight, not leaning forward. If it's possible to check your posture in a mirror, try to do that because it often feels like you are standing up straight even when you are leaning forward slightly. You almost want to feel like you are leaning just ever-so-slightly backwards. Since the arms don't move on your elliptical, try not to grip the handrails tightly, just rest your hands on them very lightly. If you can, try to not hold onto the hand rails--this will help with your posture and it's a better workout.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:12 PM   #8
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I thought it was just me that got the tingly feet thing from the elliptical machine...

I have one that has variable incline and the higher the incline the less tingly my feet are, for what its worth.

I don't believe the calorie count on mine at all - it doesn't account for my weight, so I believe it to be overinflated. I wear a heart rate monitor and estimate calories burned that way.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:30 PM   #9
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Thanx for the advice!!
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:35 PM   #10
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Default Eliptical vs. Treadmill

I have heard that gym machines are calibrated to a person weighing 150 lbs.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
That said, the "numb feet" issue is going to be mostly because on the elliptical it's easy to wind up "walking" on your toes. It's the nature of the machine. You need to remember to walk from your heel, just as you would on the treadmill ... or you'll get the numb toes thing. I do, even now. One way to help prevent it is when you feel it coming on, curl your toes. It's impossible to walk on your toes when they're curled - and then you wind up driving your heel down first, which eliminates the tingly foot thing..
I tried doing that and it works!! Thanks so much my tootsies feel so much better
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:16 PM   #12
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I don't know how old you are, but trainers have told me that when one is young it's good to do exercise that includes jumps/runs because the shock of the impact strengthens ones bones. So that would be an advantage the treadmill has over the elliptical.

I hope I'm making sense here, I have never tried to explain this in english before.
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